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Crows and Jays: Corvidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Corvids are family-oriented. Many species travel in a flock, a group of birds. Birds in this group are monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus), with a single male mating with a single female. The female corvid lays from two to seven eggs. Females incubate the clutch of eggs, sitting on them to keep them warm.

Older offspring act as cooperative breeders, helping the parents protect and rear young. The male and the older offspring feed the female. They also protect the female from predators like cats, hawks, and people. A mob, usually a group of crows or jays, will fly after hawks and owls. The corvids yell loudly, scolding the birds as they chase them away.

Corvid eggs do not all hatch at the same time. The young birds stay in the nest from five weeks to three months.


A prime example of crows' intelligence is how birds solve the problem of getting food. Hooded crows in Finland know that lines left in the water by fishermen lead to food. The birds use their bills and feet to pull up the line and get fish. And in New Zealand, New Caledonian crows make tools out of leaves. Bird use the hooked tools to get hard-to-reach insects.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsCrows and Jays: Corvidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Crows, Jays, And People, Blue Jay (cyanocitta Cristata): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS